Witham and District Ladies Probus Club

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When the Witham and District Ladies Probus Club met in May, Ralph Needham came to talk and mentioned how a chance encounter had made him into an author.

It is said everyone has a book in them – and this happened to Ralph.

His family has farmed in the Louth area for more than 200 years; his son and grandson are now continuing this tradition.

One of his grandfathers started to breed thoroughbred racehorses.

One of these was sold for £2,000, which would be worth more than £1million today.

Another grandfather emigrated to America – a very brave thing to do at that time.

Ralph reminisced about village life; about crow pies, candlemas fairs, sausage and chine making.

His records of his ancestors’ lives led him to be contacted by author Miranda France, who encouraged him to become a writer.

So Ralph has written Conscience Hill - about his family farm - and Destiny’s Talisman - set in an imaginary place called Hoult, an anagram of Louth.